Thursday, December 31, 2009

I Love Book Covers, Especially This one from New Novel, Dead Game!

Dead Game

An Emily Stone Novel

In this Video Game, ‘Game Over’ Means You’re Dead

Through her independent efforts to catch child killers, Emily Stone discovers the evidence that the cops can’t—or won’t—uncover. Now, this covert investigator is back on the hunt for the world’s most sick and twisted murderers. But even with help from ex-police detective Rick Lopez, this time she’s facing her most dangerous opponent yet.

The headlines in the San Jose Mercury News blare updates on a serial killer who seems able to slaughter with impunity. Men, women—it doesn’t matter; the victims serve only to satisfy a perverted need to kill. The killer watches the moment of death on multiple computer screens, over and over again. The only connection is that they’re all devotees of the latest video-game craze—a sophisticated brain-puzzler called EagleEye.

When the killer goes after Lopez’s law-enforcement mentor, Lopez and Stone decide to give the cops a little extra, unsolicited help. What follows takes them deep inside a shocking high-tech world, a kind of social-networking community for serial killers. But when they start getting too close to the truth, all hell’s going to break loose.

Now, Stone and Lopez become the killer’s next target as Stone must make a difficult decision to leave the ones she loves in an all-or-nothing effort for survival. Can they stay alive long enough to blow the whistle on this unlikely perpetrator?

Wow! This sounds like a thriller!

My Book Review coming soon!

Review: Michael Palmer's Latest - The Last Surgeon!

The Last Surgeon

By Michael Palmer
St. Martin’s Press
ISBN: 9780312587499
373 Pages

To be Released on February 16, 2010!
Pre-Order NOW by Clicking Title of this Review
To Immediately Go to Dr. Palmer's Website!

It may be a tossup between my first Michael Palmer book, The Sisterhood, which I thoroughly enjoyed, and his latest, The Last Surgeon, as to which will be the more memorable! The PTSD issue in his novel due out on February 16th is so very important for veterans and others who have gone through some type of traumatic experience in their lives. I applaud Dr. Palmer for not only covering PTSD, but also providing a good deal of information, through having his main character deal with it throughout the book.

Dr. Nick Garrity was a surgeon that could no longer perform surgery due to his PTSD. He acted now as a doctor running a clinic for the indigent along with a wonderful caring and competent nurse, Junie Wright. Nick also helped veterans in their efforts to get PTSD recognized by the Veterans Administration as a medical problem requiring coverage. Thess activities resulted in his realizing that when his best friend Umberto seemed to have vanished, there was also at least one other vet who was gone. Both of them had PTSD.

But that was just part of the nightmare and it all started to come together because of a stack of comic books...and Dr. Nick Fury...

Jillian Coates discovered those books when she was going through the things in her sister’s apartment after her death. She was told her sister had committed suicide but Jillian didn’t believe it and, if nobody else would help her, she’d start investigating herself—by finding out about Dr. Nick Fury and anything else that could lead to what had happened.

And then Jillian’s home was set on fire, supposedly accidentally, and all of her own things, plus her sister’s things were now gone.

Stakes were high for the individual behind what was happening. But the love of family and friends was strong and when Jillian found Nick Garrity, AKA Nick Fury, they quickly began to realize that there had to be a connection to all that was happening and they planned to figure it out!

But the main opponent in those efforts was a hired killer who was a master at having his victims’ deaths look like accidents and he had already invaded Jillian’s burnt home and introduced himself to her as a fire inspector...

It is the puzzle that pulls readers like myself again and again into suspenseful novels and The Last Surgeon presents an exciting trail to follow. I loved the Nick, Jillian and Junie characters, but especially another character that plays a small but important part--a young boy named Reggie who provided computer assistance behind the scenes and later was taken into a newly formed family unit! Cool!

Want a medical thriller with strong political connections to start your year? You just can’t go wrong with Michael Palmer’s latest up-all-night must-read! I loved it!

G. A. Bixler

Ending the Old Year... with Poet Thomas Kemp

Old Golden Love...

Why is it I still carry,

Incised small pieces of old golden love?

Here around my neck on a small gold chain.

I am so old now and grey fills my hair

Incessant are my nights

Where you float across my blue swimming pool

Your face always carrying a smile

And your breasts are covered with yellow dainty flowers.

Maybe the answer is now Christmas is over

Another year of danger,

another year of almost loving someone new,

It’s all over… with just the thought

Spring hurry to me

Winter is gone…

How I wish it was so easy to do.

Thomas Kemp

Friday, December 25, 2009

A Different Christmas Poem - God Bless Our Troops

 The embers glowed softly, and in their dim light,

I gazed round the room and I cherished the sight.

My wife was asleep, her head on my chest,

My daughter beside me, angelic in rest.

Outside the snow fell, a blanket of white,

Transforming the yard to a winter delight.

The sparkling lights in the tree I believe,

Completed the magic that was Christmas Eve.

My eyelids were heavy, my breathing was deep,

Secure and surrounded by love I would sleep.

In perfect contentment, or so it would seem,

So I slumbered, perhaps I started to dream.

The sound wasn't loud, and it wasn't too near,

But I opened my eyes when it tickled my ear..

Perhaps just a cough, I didn't quite know, Then the

sure sound of footsteps outside in the snow.

My soul gave a tremble, I struggled to hear,

And I crept to the door just to see who was near.

Standing out in the cold and the dark of the night,

A lone figure stood, his face weary and tight.

A soldier, I puzzled, some twenty years old,

Perhaps a Marine, huddled here in the cold.

Alone in the dark, he looked up and smiled,

Standing watch over me, and my wife and my child.

"What are you doing?" I asked without fear,

"Come in this moment, it's freezing out here!

Put down your pack, brush the snow from your sleeve,

You should be at home on a cold Christmas Eve!"

For barely a moment I saw his eyes shift,

Away from the cold and the snow blown in drifts..

To the window that danced with a warm fire's light

Then he sighed and he said "Its really all right,

I'm out here by choice. I'm here every night."

"It's my duty to stand at the front of the line,

That separates you from the darkest of times.

No one had to ask or beg or implore me,

I'm proud to stand here like my fathers before me.

My Gramps died at ' Pearl on a day in December,"

Then he sighed, "That's a Christmas 'Gram always remembers."

My dad stood his watch in the jungles of ' Nam ',

And now it is my turn and so, here I am.

I've not seen my own son in more than a while,

But my wife sends me pictures, he's sure got her smile.

Then he bent and he carefully pulled from his bag,

The red, white, and blue... an American flag.

I can live through the cold and the being alone,

Away from my family, my house and my home.

I can stand at my post through the rain and the sleet,

I can sleep in a foxhole with little to eat.

I can carry the weight of killing another,

Or lay down my life with my sister and brother..

Who stand at the front against any and all,

To ensure for all time that this flag will not fall.."

" So go back inside," he said, "harbor no fright,

Your family is waiting and I'll be all right."

"But isn't there something I can do, at the least,

"Give you money," I asked, "or prepare you a feast?

It seems all too little for all that you've done,

For being away from your wife and your son."

Then his eye welled a tear that held no regret,

"Just tell us you love us, and never forget.

To fight for our rights back at home while we're gone,

To stand your own watch, no matter how long.

For when we come home, either standing or dead,

To know you remember we fought and we bled.

Is payment enough, and with that we will trust,

That we mattered to you as you mattered to us."

PLEASE, would you do me the kind favor of sending this to as many

people as you can? Christmas will be coming soon and some credit is due to our

U.S service men and women for our being able to celebrate these

festivities. Let's try in this small way to pay a tiny bit of what we owe. Make people

stop and think of our heroes, living and dead, who sacrificed themselves for us.

LCDR Jeff Giles, SC, USN

30th Naval Construction Regiment

OIC, Logistics Cell One

Al Taqqadum, Iraq

May this blog entry be shared as requested.  God's blessings are and prayers are from me...

Review: 1924 Poetry Book, The Marble Faun by William Faulkner, Reprinted as Part of Centennial Special!

Centennial Special
The Marble Faun

By William Faulkner

Adolph Caso, Editor
Branden Books
ISBN: 9780828321921
219 Pages

Celebrate! There are many reasons to celebrate the Centennial Special 1909 to 2009!

· It features William Faulkner’s 1924 First Book – The Marble Faun!
· It celebrates the 100-year history of Branden Books!
· Photos of early book covers and publishing staff through the years are included!
· Back and Front covers showing the art work, Boy Fishing by Marjorie Very and Boston Scene by Randolph Brown! (shown above)
· A complete bibliography, by respective publisher/owners for 100 years!
· An excellent commentary on The Marble Faun by Nicole Starrett, granddaughter of Adolph Caso!

For poetry lovers and readers of William Faulkner, a total reprint of “a copy” of his first and only poetry book will be coveted! I thought it was interesting in these days of arguing over self-published versus being published by major publishing companies, that his friend Phil Stone, who indicated that he felt Faulkner’s work showed promise subsidized his first book: Perhaps we should all remember these early days when talent was supported by those that loved literature and the arts!

Here’s a short passage from the Prologue to give readers a taste of his book-length poem:

                     Why am I sad? I?
Why am I not content? The sky
Warms me and yet I cannot break
My marble bonds. That quick keen snake
Is free to come and go, while I
Am prisoner to dream and sigh
For things I know, yet cannot know,
‘Twixt sky above and earth below.
The spreading earth calls to my feet
Of orchards bright with fruits to eat,
Of hills and streams on either hand;
Of sleep at night on moon-blanched sand:
The whole world breathes and calls to me
Who marble-bound must ever be. (p. 12)

If I were free, then I would go... (p. 13)

May I just say that having the opportunity to read and add to your home library the first book of a Nobel Prize and Pulitzer Prize author is a rare opportunity!

Nicole Starrett, "Nikki," who is a Sophomore at Amherst College and granddaughter of Adolfo and Margaret Caso, was asked to write a commentary on one of the most important authors who had been published by Branden Publishing Company. Her highlights included that while Faulkner was a literary giant, he had never graduated from high school or received a college degree, but had, in less than a decade, churned out some of the best books ever written by an American.

Branden Books, which had been the Four Seas Company in 1924, printed only 1000 copies and its reception was "lukewarm." Fortunately for America he turned to novel writing.

Yet, Ms. Starrett states, that his choice of material upon which to write provided proof that his primary goal was to become an author. She notes that he is "unhesitating and precise in his use of language. His words stream freshly and freely, radiating unselfconsciousness that more accomplished poets pursue in vain." (p. 165)

Starrett concludes with a comment from her grandfather publisher when he points out "It is hard to imagine the discipline he had to have had in mastering the metrical structure of prosody which is more normally used by established poets than by writers without any formal education and writing experience." Indeed!

I thought it important to highlight that what has been published is an actual copy of the 1924 original "mottled green boards, with the paper label on the front cover designed by Marjorie Very, showing a faun with pipes seated among leaves." (p. 160)

Ok, I have to admit that when Adolfo wrote me that the book was coming out and that he was inviting me to the 100th birthday celebration--and that I was listed in the book--I was thrilled! To be part of an established legendary publishing company that has been publishing continuously a wide and diversified array of books, mostly nonfictional, that continue to be received in high regard by the public for 100 years, and still going strong, well, you've just got to be pleased to have been just a small part of their activities!

Get this once in a lifetime book, which features the reprinting of 1924 book, The Marble Faun, by William Faulkner for your personal library today!

And, by the way, please continue on to see pictures from that celebration I mentioned and also check out a poem written by Adolfo Caso as part of the exciting event!

G. A. Bixler

Dawn - Another Love Poem from Adolph Caso...

I am a Rose, My Heart Opens at Dawn....Image by -RejiK via Flickr
I am a rose, my heart opens at Dawn
Sing Alongside The Waves The Song of Love...Image by -RejiK via Flickr
Sing Alongside the Waves, the Song of Love


or, another Love Poem

by Adolph Caso

Turning into stone

its back pressed into the bed

the exhausted faun remains at rest position,

next to the naked woman

incomprehensible of the metamorphosis

before her eyes,

the rims of its heavy nostrils oscillating

to the rhythm of a pump

pushing life-giving air

which spreads throughout his body—

electric circuits completing themselves until

its hoofs turn into feet.

No thought to:

was there another road


is there another road in my life,


can I look for that

which I have not lost

and live in a world without reality

as I walk my daily and only road

of my existence?

Oh Proust and Frost,

how do you find

that which was not lost?

Pascoli’s rose

is no less vibrant or painful--

its petals no less laden

than my sister’s rose

whose perfumed membranes

continuously reach my own nostrils,

in real time

when shades of pink stream through

its pinkish petals filling my cells,

or when my soul needing reassurance

of who and what we were

confirm who and what we are,

never wishing

to have taken another road!

All but disappeared

except for the single stem

bending to passing breezes

its sharpened thorns--

tempered by the cold morning air--

they rip at my skin

like saw-grass serrating the walls

from within the heart.

Coagulated ringlets of blood

filling each point of entry

emit wisps of scented perfume

to their nostrils


to another awareness.

Her back again pressed into his arms

He extends his hand onto her breast:

“Where do we go from here?”

he asks, his voice subdued and uncertain.

“Nowhere!” she exclaims,

as she presses his hand

tighter around her breast.


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100 Years of Literary Publishing by Branden Books! Celebrate!

Picture of Cynthia Brown and Adolfo and Margaret Caso at Centennial Celebration!

Picture of Kate and Nikki Starrett--cousins--Both college freshmen--Kate at Boston College and Nikki at Amherst College
at Centennial Celebration

Book Readers Heaven Extends Congratulations to Branden Books on 100 Years of
Continuous High Quality Literary Publishing!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve - 1881

Pa never had much compassion for the lazy or those who
squandered their means and then never had enough for the
necessities. But for those who were genuinely in need, his
heart was as big as all outdoors. It was from him that I
learned the greatest joy in life comes from giving, not from

It was Christmas Eve 1881. I was fifteen years old
and feeling like the world had caved in on me because there
just hadn't been enough money to buy me the rifle that
I'd wanted for Christmas. We did the chores early that
night for some reason. I just figured Pa wanted a little
extra time so we could read in the Bible.

After supper was over I took my boots off and
stretched out in front of the fireplace and waited for Pa to
get down the old Bible. I was still feeling sorry for
myself and, to be honest, I wasn't in much of a mood to
read Scriptures. But Pa didn't get the Bible, instead he
bundled up again and went outside. I couldn't figure it
out because we had already done all the chores. I didn't
worry about it long though, I was too busy wallowing in
self-pity. Soon Pa came back in. It was a cold clear night
out and there was ice in his beard.

Come on, Matt," he said. "Bundle up good, it's cold out
I was really upset then. Not only wasn't
I getting the rifle for Christmas, now Pa was dragging me
out in the cold, and for no earthly reason that I could see.
We'd already done all the chores, and I couldn't
think of anything else that needed doing, especially not on
a night like this. But I knew Pa was not very patient at
one dragging one's feet when he'd told them to do
something, so I got up and put my boots back on and got my
cap, coat, and mittens. Ma gave me a mysterious smile as I
opened the door to leave the house. Something was up, but I
didn't know what.

Outside, I became even more dismayed. There in
front of the house was the work team, already hitched to the
big sled. Whatever it was we were going to do wasn't
going to be a short, quick, little job. I could tell. We
never hitched up this sled unl ess we were going to haul a
big load. Pa was already up on the seat, reins in hand. I
reluctantly climbed up beside him. The cold was already
biting at me. I wasn't happy. When I was on, Pa pulled
the sled around the house and stopped in front of the
woodshed. He got off and I followed. "I think
we'll put on the high sideboards," he said.
"Here, help me." The high sideboards! It had
been a bigger job than I wanted to do with just the low
sideboards on, but whatever it was we were going to do would
be a lot bigger with the high side boards on.

After we had exchanged the sideboards, Pa went into
the woodshed and came out with an armload of wood - the
wood I'd spent all summer hauling down from the mountain,
and then all Fall sawing into blocks and splitting. What was he

Finally I said something. "Pa," I asked, "what are you doing?"
"You been by the Widow Jensen's lately?" he asked. The Widow
Jensen lived about two miles down the road. Her husband had
died a year or so before and left her with three children, the
oldest being eight. Sure, I'd been by, but so what?
Yeah," I said, "Why?"

"I rode by just today," Pa said.
"Little Jakey was out digging around in the woodpile
trying to find a few chips. They're out of wood,
Matt." That was all he said and then he turned and
went back into the woodshed for an other armload of wood. I
followed him. We loaded the sled so high that I began to
wonder if the horses would be able to pull it. Finally, Pa
called a halt to our loading, then we went to the smoke
house and Pa took down a big ham and a side of bacon. He
handed them to me and told me to put them in the sled and
off he went. When he returned he was carrying a sack of flour over
his right shoulder and a smaller sack of something in his
left hand.

"What's in the little sack?" I asked.
"Shoes, they're out of shoes. Little Jakey just had gunny sacks
wrapped around his feet when he was out in the woodpile
this morning. I got the children a little candy too. It just wouldn't
be Christmas without a little candy."

We rode the two miles to Widow Jensen's pretty
much in silence. I tried to think through what Pa was
doing. We didn't have much by worldly standards. Of
course, we did have a big woodpile, though most of what was
left now was still in the form of logs that I would have to
saw into blocks and split before we could use it. We also
had meat and flour, so we could spare that, but I knew we
didn't have any money, so why was Pa buying them shoes
and candy? Really, why was he doing any of this? Widow
Jensen had closer neighbors than us; it shouldn't have
been our concern.

We came in from the blind side of the Jensen house
and unloaded the wood as quietly as possible, then we took
the meat and flour and shoes to the door. We knocked. The
door opened a crack and a timid voice said, "Who is

"Lucas Miles, Ma'am, and my son, Matt, could we come in for a bit?"
Widow Jensen opened the door and let us in. She
had a blanket wrapped around her shoulders. The children
were wrapped in another and were sitting in front of the
fireplace by a very small fire that hardly gave off any heat
at all. Widow Jensen fumbled with a match and finally lit
the lamp.

"We brought you a few things, Ma'am,"
Pa said and set down the sack of flour. I put the meat on
the table. Then Pa handed her the sack that had the shoes
in it. She opened it hesitantly and took the shoes out one
pair at a time. There was a pair for her and one for each
of the children - sturdy shoes, the best, shoes that would
last. I watched her carefully. She bit her lower lip to
keep it from trembling and then tears filled her eyes and
started running down her cheeks. She looked up at Pa like
she wanted to say something, but it wouldn't come out.

"We brought a load of wood too, Ma'am," Pa said. He turned
to me and said, "Matt, go bring in enough to last awhile. Let's
get that fire up to size and heat this place up." I wasn't the
same person when I went back out to bring in the wood. I had
a big lump in my throat and as much as I hate to admit it, there
were tears in my eyes too. In my mind I kept seeing those
three kids huddled around the fireplace and their mother
standing there with tears running down her cheeks with so
much gratitude in her heart that she couldn't speak.

My heart swelled within me and a joy that I'd
never known before, filled my soul. I had given at
Christmas many times before, but never when it had made so
much difference. I could see we were literally saving the
lives of these people.

I soon had the fire blazing and everyone's spirits soared. The
kids started giggling when Pa handed them each a piece of
candy and Widow Jensen looked on with a smile that probably
hadn't crossed her face for a long time. She finally turned to us.
"God bless you," she said. "I know the Lord has sent you. The
children and I have been praying that he would send one of
his angels to spare us."

In spite of myself, the lump returned to my throat and the tears
welled up in my eyes again. I'd never thought of Pa in those
exact terms before, but after Widow Jensen mentioned it I
could see that it was probably true.

I was sure that a better man than Pa had never walked the
earth. I started remembering all the times he had gone out
of his way for Ma and me, and many others. The list seemed
endless as I thought on it.

Pa insisted that everyone try on the shoes before we left. I was
amazed when they all fit and I wondered how he had known
what sizes to get. Then I guessed that if he was on an errand
for the Lord that the Lord would make sure he got the right sizes.

Tears were running down Widow Jensen's face
again when we stood up to leave. Pa took each of the kids
in his big arms and gave them a hug. They clung to him and
didn't want us to go. I could see that they missed
their Pa, and I was glad that I still had mine.

At the door Pa turned to Widow Jensen and said,
"The Mrs. wanted me to invite you and the children over
for Christmas dinner tomorrow. The turkey will be more than
the three of us can eat, and a man can get cantankerous if
he has to eat turkey for too many meals. We'll be by to
get you about eleven. It'll be nice to have some little
ones around again. Matt, here, hasn't been little for
quite a spell." I was the youngest. My two brothers
and two sisters had all married and had moved away.

Widow Jensen nodded and said, "Thank you, Brother Miles.
I don't have to say , May the Lord bless you, I know for
certain that He will."

Out on the sled I felt a warmth that came from deep
within and I didn't even notice the cold. When we had
gone a ways, Pa turned to me and said, "Matt, I want
you to know something. Your ma and me have been tucking a
little money away here and there all year so we could buy
that rifle for you, but we didn't have quite enough.
Then yesterday a man who owed me a little money from years
back came by to make things square. Your ma and me were
real excited, thinking that now we could get you that rifle,
and I started into town this morning to do just that, but on
the way I saw little Jakey out scratching in the woodpile
with his feet wrapped in those gunny sacks and I knew what I
had to do. Son, I spent the money for shoes and a little
candy for those children. I hope you understand."

I understood, and my eyes became wet with tears again.
I understood very well, and I was so glad Pa had done it.
Now the rifle seemed very low on my list of priorities. Pa
had given me a lot more. He had given me the look on Widow
Jensen's face and the radiant smiles of her three children.

For the rest of my life, Whenever I saw any of the
Jensens, or split a block of wood, I remembered, and
remembering brought back that same joy I felt riding home
beside Pa that night. Pa had given me much more than a rifle
that night, he had given me the best Christmas of my life.

God bless you!

--author unknown

Far-Away Friends Share Responsive Poetry for Holidays!

The evening chill is trying to make some sense
as to how to end the day.

Snow falling around the green pines

with a light coating of confection sugar settling

on the back of the horses.

They stand close to one another

those two and prefer the bug free winter

over the hot sun with its fly biting days of summer.

Then there is the Elk Hound and Border collie

Who love the white snow as much as the deep green grass.

Smoke from brick fireplaces can barely find enough up drafts

to carry off the Sunday afternoon wishes for a romantic dream

or a NFL football invitation to the Super Bowl.

The sudden mid December 21, 2009 snow storm has locked us all in

up and down the East Coast.

Incidental as all this seems, poets somewhere will be disposed

to write about it and wonder about your love?

Merry Christmas Glenda



Tried to get out through the snow today

but got stuck half-way to the clear, main road, 

Guess I'm spend the holiday alone, here

in the log cabin I love so, except when I can't leave...

Then, only then, do I realize just how being alone can be

more than you want to have, on a continuous basis

Though who knows if I'd have some place to go anyway

Only thoughts and dreams of those with whom I'd wish

to spend the day--they are far away, and didn't ask

My inside cats help of course, but they don't return an embrace

or come close to kiss my lips and enfold me with love

For that's how I would want to share my feelings,

especially to those that I know cares...

I always hope that would include you

but my dear, only a man would compare

a romantic dream with football...(smilingly)

Merry Christmas to you as well, my friend Thomas

Love, Glenda

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Review: Richard Lucas' Followup Novel Exciting Conclusion!

Beyond Forever:

Journey to Tulmic

By Richard S. Lucas
Eloquent Books
ISBN: 9781608607679
306 Pages

I journeyed to Tulmic yesterday with Richard Lucas! What an exciting adventure! But then, I am one of the dreamers to whom Lucas dedicated his latest book, Beyond Forever: Journey to Tulmic. I can easily dream of leaving one world and moving into an unknown world, not knowing what would be there, what would happen. In real life, my bravery may not be as real, but traveling with Richard was a wonderful escape that kept me up to midnight for an ending that left a pleased smile on my face as I drifted off to sleep.

Lucas has created an exceptionally well-written opening which serves not only to set the stage for this book, but also refreshes our memories of his first novel: Four Paths to Forever. Beyond Forever definitely stands on its own; however, why would you not want to start at the beginning of this great adventure? Plan to spend the entire weekend dreaming!

Sandra Adams had been dreaming all of her life. As a child she had heard the legend of the Sipapu, the gateway to another world. Now for Sandra, her dreams were just a little more thorough than any we may have; you might say she was a professional Dreamer! And in fact, she was a descendent of the people, the Kulato, who had first come to settle on earth and received many visions to help her!

As a professor of archaeology, she had found the burial site of some of the Kulato that had come to earth. Joining with others she had discovered the entrance as the first book ended. Now six of those who had worked with her, and who, it was discovered, were also of Kulato blood had decided to leave their world and travel into the unknown.

Through the material left at the burial site and through additional research and mystical guidance, they had found that the other world had been close to total destruction. Would anything be left of that great city? Would there be air to breathe, water to drink, the ability to grow food? There was no way to know!

And then they were there! And it was so very beautiful!

As a Trekkie fan, I've always enjoyed the adventure of learning about different worlds and peoples. But Lucas' book goes deep and takes us directly into the daily world, detailing what they found and what needed to be done. I will tell you that there were a few people still living, although not all of them were sane...

One other highlight I'll share is that Sandra becomes the Shaman of Tulmic, which knocked her out for three days...and it really wasn't pretty what happened when an individual who was not "chosen" tried to gain the power that had once destroyed the Kulato world!

Thoroughly enjoyable and highly recommended! There's even quite a bit of love and romance to spice life up!After all, not many women are faced with the possibility that all of the older members in her tribe would someday leave her, totally alone, without a mate like one of the survivors was, until...

In my opinion Beyond Forever by Richard S. Lucas, would make a great stocking stuffer for teens and adventure lovers of any age!

G. A. Bixler

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Review: She's My Dad Provides Provocative Drama!

She’s My Dad

By Iolanthe Woulff
Outskirts Press, Inc.
ISBN: 9781432743772
457 Pages

"Reverend Shorr sipped a glass of water. 'Sometimes I think that the scientific community has taken us all much too far, much too fast. Life was complicated enough before...But we mustn’t second-guess our Lord...'"

What a powerful suspense drama! She’s My Dad by Iolanthe Woulff is a provocative hold-no-bars book that successfully illustrates the power of both love and hate. Woulff does this through characters that are so alive with their emotions that readers are immediately caught within the honest reality portrayed. Fascinating!

By nature of the material covered, readers should be aware that some content might be offensive. Personally, I didn’t find it so because the characters that were offensive were those I enjoyed hating! Then, too, as Reverend Shorr admitted in the book, there is too little written and taught about today’s sexuality and our technological world. I believe this type of fiction is one of the ways by which it can be shown how love can triumph over hate. The novel is somewhat based upon the true experience of the author. She has my admiration for her courage.

Nickie Farrell graduated from Windfield College and then came back many years later to apply for a temporary position replacing an English professor. During her college years, she had participated in an affair with a local resident and a child had come from that relationship. Nickie was the father of that child.

During her absence, Nickie had undergone a medically monitored sex change and was now a beautiful woman. At least Alex Steward thought so since upon their first meeting, Nickie and Alex had been immediately attracted to each other.

Beautiful love story? Not!

There was an excessive amount of town-gown tension between Windfield students and local residents. There was sufficient history that was still remembered by residents, especially, Ambassador Eamon Douglass, of how the free-thinking liberal college had been started and the students who arrived in town were either ignored, hated or worse.

As Nickie became involved in teaching, one particularly zealous journalism major started noticing and wondering about Nickie’s background and started to investigate. In many ways, her news article set off much that occurred, but it was hate and fear that fed the major events, which finally culminated in a terrorist plan to bomb the College!

This book is about hope. Hope for a time when those who are different in some way are not automatically hated. There will always be evil people, but they cannot be stereotyped. They could be your neighbors or your supposed friends. As proclaimed several times in the book, “Hate destroys everything. Don’t let it destroy you.”

Thank you Iolanthe Woulff for She’s My Dad—a highly recommended, truly remarkable book!

G. A. Bixler

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Review: IVD An Exciting Madcap Thriller!


By Greg Przywara
Eloquent Books
ISBN: 9781608601301
141 Pages

Greg Przywara has a successful future ahead of him in my opinion. With an exciting cover, IVD shares today's world in a madcap, explosive way--literally! Yet the main character is able to retain his basic integrity, at least during most events. Which is hard, since...

Mark Crizlanek is just an ordinary guy. He's a cashier at a local store where the formal but loose environment places him in difficult situations. He doesn't care that pressure is on the supervisor to keep a bad employee on--all he knows is that he constantly causes him trouble. Especially when he must endure a similar situation at home, only the players are different--his money-hungry wife and her dog!

His only happiness is the friendship of another employee, Crystal. But one day she asked if he would mourn her if she were dead, a weird kind of question. Except that, soon after that, she was. And so was their supervisor.

And Mark was the number one suspect based upon the lies told by, you guessed it, the bad employee!

Depending upon how you look at it, Mark was saved by the appearance of an old buddy who was willing and able to support him--sure he was, by helping him escape from a prison bus, introducing him to a high school killer and getting him involved with mob enterprises! As a hitman!

Of course, using him as a hitman in this case was possible; no weapon needed. An IVD would be used.

What is an IVD? Think DVD "garnished" with just a touch of powerful explosives...

Seriously, there is more action in this book than in many others, but there is one big difference, the chosen characters for all this action makes for times when you don't know whether to laugh at their ineptitude or to just go along for the thrilling ride! It's fairly hard to become sympathetic for a young murderer, yet somehow you do, especially when he actively works to help Mark through the nightmare in which he's been thrown.

Mark's one goal through all this was to find the man who had murdered Crystal. Who knew he loved her?! But through all that he went through, I never would have guessed what happened to Mark. A great ending for this multi-genre novel that will undoubtedly find many readers who will thoroughly enjoy what just might happen to change the life of a mild-mannered ordinary guy...

IVD by Greg Przywara is highly recommended for those who find enjoyment in having no idea where and how a novel is going to take you! I thoroughly enjoyed it! Cool!

G. A. Bixler